FYI, this is not what my table looks like. I have a 7 year old, tablecloths just become shrapnel-slingers.
For me this holiday has always been more about the people I get to see then about the food on the table. I’ve heard friends say they have to have such-and-such dish or it “just isn’t Thanksgiving.” Aside from a turkey and gravy and stuffing, that just isn’t how I feel. 😉
Like I said, it’s always been about family. This will be our fifth Thanksgiving in Idaho, but this year I’m really going to miss my family in Washington. I know that traditions change and my cousin has hosted the dinner for the last several years. But for me this will always be potluck, around my grandparents’ table – telling the same stories and looking forward to an epic game of Shanghai (a 3-deck version of Rummy, similar to Phase 10) after dinner. There was no football, as grandpa really only cheers for one team, and the Seahawks rarely play on Thanksgiving.
I think what’s bringing these feelings up is the knowledge that for my girls this year’s dinner will be different. Their father almost always worked on Thanksgiving, so they’re used to him not being here. However this will be the first holiday since he moved out, and it’s always going to be “the first Thanksgiving without Daddy.” I hate that this is a part of their life now, but it’s much better for them than pretending that things are fine, and making the best of things.
So my plans to make this day special center around desserts. Yesterday we planned to make hand-turkey cookies. Remember in kindergarten when you drew an outline of your hand and made a turkey? I saw this cute idea from The Pioneer Woman, which Hallie immediately said could be turned into turkeys. (We’re also making the hand cookies for her birthday instead of a cake.) However, the homemade sugar cookie dough was really soft even after chilling, and when I went to cut around the girls’ hands the dough warmed even more. So they made “snowballs” which is our way of using up leftover dough when they’re done cutting shapes. We’d already made the Thanksgiving colored eggwash (intended for coloring the “feathers”), so they painted them anyway. They flatten when they bake, so with the colors on them they ended up looking like fallen leaves!
And I got some Granny Smith apples – the girls have been begging for caramel apples, and I’m doing this – an inside-out caramel apple – link takes you to a pin on my Pinterest recipes board, because the original blog it came from has been removed. I’m also going to use my Pampered Chef apple-corer-slicer (that I had to have and hardly ever use) to make apple rings, that I’ll cook with butter and cinnamon and sugar. No pies at my house because I hate making pie crust. But plenty of snacky dessert goodness.
And a very happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. I hope all are “safely gathered in” at your house and you’re able to find at least one thing to celebrate!